Monday, April 18, 2011

MASwings continues plan to become the icon of East Malaysia

KUCHING: For Datuk Captain Mohd Nawawi Awang, his career has come to full circle.

The new managing director of MASwings Sdn Bhd (MASwings), who took the helm from former head Datuk Mohd Salleh Ahmad Tabrani in March, related to The Borneo Post recently about his enthusiasm in managing a brand that had very much become a part of his life.

“Since 1973, I was already in this part of the world,” he mentioned during an exclusive interview. “To me, Sarawak and Sabah are very close to my heart.”

By this, he was speaking literally – Nawawi’s wife hails from Labuan and his son-in-law is a police officer from Sarawak. Career-wise, the Malaysian Borneo had been his immediate starting point.

“It’s always been my chilhood ambition to become a pilot. I managed to enrolled into the Royal Military College, after which I enlisted into the Royal Military Air Force and remained in service for five years before I joined Malaysia Airlines (MAS) in 1975.

“At the start of my pilot career, I was stationed in Labuan and with my entry into MAS, I was based in Kota Kinabalu. Now with my new responsibility to head MASwings, I’m really excited to come back here.”

However, Nawawi would now be given a large heap of responsibility on his plate – very much different from what he had to deal with as a professional pilot.

MASwings – the community East Malaysian airline service arm of nationall carrier MAS – had undergone a significant facelift since its inception in 2007. Under its first managing director Dr Amin Khan, the airline was established to cater for the need to specifically serve both Sarawak and Sabah. Notably, Dr Amin’s immediate successor Mohd Salleh saw the situation where MASwings were operating on an ageing fleet – the Fokker 50 – that consumed higher maintenance costs per hour compared against the 747s.

With new measures prompted by Mohd Salleh, MASwings had successfully phased out the Fokker fleet last year, revamping its fleet into having 10 units of the more efficient ATR 72-500s. To note, the carrier flew about 1.2 million passangers last year; a rise from the total 970,000 passengers in 2009.

“MASwings, both in terms of hardware and software aspects, brings the aircraft and its people directly to cater for passengers’ need in East Malaysia. In order for me to bring anything new to MASwings, I need to see – in depth – what has been laid out. Saying that, I’m quite fortunate to be coming to MASwings at a right time…simply because my predecessors have established a solid foundation for me to built upon.

“I come into MASwings to look further into this growth phase already established by Dr Amin and Datuk (Mohd) Salleh. Thus, I have the ingredients already.”

Continue reading (incl. Pic) at: MASwings continues plan to become the icon of East Malaysia

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